It's no secret that I'm actually OVER 30 and married and so far, I have to admit I love married life. I love and adore my husband for so many reasons and I love this partnership, marriage I have. He cooks, I clean. He's playing games on his computer all day and I'm on my Mac or out shopping or watching old dvds.
But after 5 years I have noticed a few differences between being married and in a relationship (in no particular order)
1. whether you like it or not unless you are both orphans/hate parents/don't see family, you're definitely tied into family matters. the good AND the bad. i am very fortunate that I not only get along with my in-laws, but I love them so much and hang out with them. of course this isn't the same for everyone and that's fine, just remember to try and be civil at the least and if you're super mad/pissed off, back off and take a breather. you DON'T want to say something you regret to your in-laws b/c that can last for a very long, long, time.
2. when you are out together, that is what it is, TOGETHER. that means you shouldn't fight/cause scenes in public, make sure each other dresses accordingly to an event (i HATE seeing the woman looking glamorous and the husband in nasty sneakers, ripped t-shirt, and jeans and messy hair; take care of your man!), check up on each other at parties from time to time especially if your other half is shy, and the big thing i want to emphasize and (even for me) is try new things together. Sure, it can be challenging and frustrating but in the long run I feel that it can strengthen a relationship even more when you both achieve something together, or at least encourage each other.
3. you can't go around hugging other men as freely as you want. i'm a VERY affectionate and "huggy" type of person, i always was and still am. i used to greet everyone with a hug and some times even kiss on the cheek. i realized now, you really shouldn't go around hugging single men. my hugs have changed from a "long, good hug" to a "short, 3 second" hug when I greet people.
4. DON'T go displaying your dirty laundry in public. i cannot emphasize this enough! i know, i know girls love to gab and talk and bitch and moan, etc and that's fine but keep it at a minimum. once you start the tale of woe and telling EVERYONE in DETAIL, things get distorted/exaggerated and you know what? People start gossiping and wondering "wow, what a drama couple". you don't want that kind of image right? Again it's fine to let out some steam and bitch to your best girlfriends but don't go writing it up on the papers. Because it will bite you in the ass one day.
5. where is the line between flirting and "going too far?" hmmmm. hahaha (my wicked laugh). i always go by the easy rule, there's nothing wrong with window shopping. i have to admit i'm a big flirt and i really like talking to men, women, and children. i'm a social butterfly. laughing is fine too. you start meeting people and find things you have in common and/or have the same idiosyncrasies. maybe you want to have a cup of coffee or lunch? is that bad? is it okay if both parties are married vs if one is married and the other isn't? where do you draw the line? just because one is 10 years younger than you, is that "okay" b/c he's like a "kid brother" to you? all i can say is two things: one if you think something might "happen" DON'T EVEN START and two be honest with your significant other. i tell Geoff everything b/c I don't want any secrets and surprises and i feel free/not guilty.
This is of course all my opinion and I'm only married 5 years. And for all my single friends out there: being single should be celebrated as well! find out who you are, what you want, travel, try new things, etc. and NEVER settle with someone you think is just "so-so" with or what society assumes you should be with. including your family.